05 April 2022
New Justice Agenda highlights urgent priorities
Law Society’s Justice Agenda highlights urgent priorities for incoming Justice Minister
Law Society of Northern Ireland, the professional body for the solicitor
profession, is urging the new Executive to ensure Access to Justice is a
priority after the 5 May elections.
‘Justice Agenda 2022’ launched today calls on elected representatives to commit
to sustainable and realistic investment to fix the issues that have long plagued
Northern Ireland’s Justice system.
‘Justice Agenda’ sets out 10 strategic priorities that require urgent
the Legal Aid Budget - a
ring-fenced budget of not less than £82 million is necessary to protect Access
to Justice for our most vulnerable citizens.
the Access to Justice Gap
– the financial eligibility thresholds for civil legal aid are now 13 years out
of date. These must be increased to ensure those on lower incomes have their
Recovery – It is estimated
that Northern Ireland’s Crown Court case backlog will extend past 2027. Urgent investment and reform of our Courts
must be prioritised to prevent further harm being caused to victims and
Law Society is also calling for progress to address Legacy issues and measures
to support economic recovery.
on the launch of the Justice Agenda 2022, President of the Law Society of
Northern Ireland, Brigid Napier said:
am pleased to launch the Justice Agenda today to outline the priorities for
rebuilding our justice system which, like so many areas of life, is still
recovering from the pandemic. As society faces an unprecedented cost of living
crisis, it is more important than ever that those in power protect our most
vulnerable by ensuring they have Access to Justice.”
Law Society is committed to working constructively with the incoming Executive
and the next Justice Minister to ensure we have a system that is fit for
purpose. Access to Justice must be at the centre of the next Programme for Government
and the aim must be to deliver the Justice system that the people of Northern